After what has been a stuttering start to their league season, Racing needed a boost and if Lisandro López’s injury time bicycle kick in the Clásico wasn’t sufficient, the the manner in which La Academia eased to victory in their opening Copa Libertadores group game might just do it. Bolívar were the visitors to the Cilindro and were thoroughly outclassed in an opening 45 minutes in which Facundo Sava’s attacking side had already sealed the points.
López, the hero from Sunday’s Clásico took 10 minutes to add his second goal for the club since returning from years in Europe when he latched onto the increasingly influential Óscar Romero’s lofted pass and lobbed the ball over Romel Quiñoñez.
Roger Martínez added a second after 27 minutes when he sliced through the Bolivian defence alone and moments later Romero found López with another ball over the top only for the 32-year-old striker to square the ball for on-loan midfielder Rodrigo de Paul to tap in the third.
With the game over at the break, Racing were able to coast through the second period and did eventually add a fourth through Marcos Acuña. Juan Carlos Arce snatch a late consolation for the visitors but La Academia were left to celebrate a job well done.
Elsewhere, in the same group, Boca Juniors travelled to Colombia to face Deportivo Cali and after a goalless draw, return to Buenos Aires with a point and plenty of bruises. The hosts physical approach saw Nicolás Lodeiro stretchered off after only ten minutes but it didn’t put an end to the crunching challenges. Carlos Tevez squandered Boca’s best opportunity when he blazed over the bar after cutting inside the defender but Deportivo Cali will perhaps feel they should have snatched victory. Harold Preciado struck the post in the first half and two glorious chances were wasted after the break.
Racing’s visit to La Bombonera next week is an early treat in this year’s Copa Libertadores.
Racing Club 4 – 1 Bolívar
Deportivo Cali 0 – 0 Boca Juniors